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F1 European GP: Wolff calls for radio rule review after Mercedes issues

Toto Wolff feels radio communication rules should be relaxed as both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg spend part of their race fiddling with settings.
Toto Wolff has called for a review of the radio communication rules, saying issues suffered by both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the European Grand Prix robbed the chance of seeing drivers pushing on because the team couldn't advise on fixes.

In an effort to delegate more influence to the driver, teams are now given strict guidelines on what can and cannot be communicated over the radio, Mercedes falling foul in Baku after both Rosberg and Hamilton suffered with cars that had incorrect configuration settings.

Though race winner Rosberg was able to fix the issue himself relatively quickly as he cruised to a dominant fifth success of the season, Hamilton – suffering with a lack of deployment – spent a large portion of his race trying to resolve his problem, his engineer repeatedly informing him they couldn't advise him.

Scuppering the opportunity to continue his fight back up the order after starting tenth, though Hamilton demonstrated his pace when he did get up to speed, he opted to settle for position in an effort to save his engine.

Frustrated that the rule arguably ruined the chance to allow Hamilton to challenge for a podium, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff believes there should be a review to prevent drivers spending their race tweaking settings with no guidance, or else make the cars simpler.

“I think we want to see drivers racing each other,” he said. “The cars are very complicated and obviously very sophisticated technology-wise. I think we need to look at the rules. It's not that I'm complaining, on the opposite it's the same for everybody, I think the Ferrari had the same issue.

“You can do two things, you can either make the technology much less complicated, I don't think this is the right direction. Or we maybe adjust the regulation so you are able to communicate more with the driver in case of a problem. But it is how it is.”

With Wolff pointing out that Ferrari had a similar problem communicating to Kimi Raikkonen, though team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says he prefers more dialogue, he isn't pushing for change.

“Radio restrictions are for everybody so we are no different, I am not complaining for that,” he said. “The reason why they were restricting communications was to make the racing less predictable and interesting. I think it would be more interesting to hear sometimes conversations between us and the driver."

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by Ollie Barstow



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elijah

June 19, 2016 7:24 PM

The rule is accomplishing what it was intended to do: helping to mix things up by putting the emphasis back on the driver . So instead of complaining , Toto should sit his world champion driver down , and instruct him to read the bloody manual .



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